“I Heart Sleep,” an informational and interactive presentation by students of the Wellness and Health Promotion 460 course, was put together to spread awareness of the growing problem of sleep deprivation in the United States, especially among college students.
Sleep deprivation is classified as experiencing daytime sleepiness, having difficulty concentrating or making poor decisions due to lack of sleep.
“There is about 310 million people living in the United States and about 77 million people are sleep deprived,” senior Stephanie Vogel said. “This means that 25 percent of the nation deals with sleep deprivation.”
While eight to nine hours of sleep is recommended for most college students, studies show that 70 percent of students sleep less than seven hours per night.
“A big misconception is that you can make it up,” Dr. Florence Dallo said, professor of WHP 460. “But you can’t (make it up) and I hope students learned that tonight.”
Sleep deprivation can affect you in the classroom, and it can also affect your overall health.
Health problems such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and depression are related to sleep deprivation.
Some use alcohol as a sleep aid, but while it may speed up the onset of sleep, it can actually increase the number of times you wake up during the night.
“Studies show that those who drink alcohol, experience poor sleep,” senior Maria Dopierala said.
One goals of the “I Heart Sleep” presentation is to educate the Oakland University student body about establishing good sleep hygiene.
“Sleep hygiene is the promotion of healthy sleeping habits,” senior Jessica Pomaranski said. “In layman’s terms sleep hygiene is sleeping during the night and being alert and ready during the day.”
Establishing a regular bedtime and rise time, hot showers, light snacks and exercising in the afternoon or early evening are a few ways to maintain good sleep hygiene.
“I feel like I’ve tried to make sleep a priority now because I know it affects my health just as much as not exercising or eating bad,” Dopierala said.